The black ominous steps lead me down into the depths of the deepest depths. Below the stage and towards the belly of the beast, I walk. In my hand a Dixie cup filled with holy water, but I fear it just might not be enough…
It is here in the pit of the haunted Mayan Theater where an infamous troupe of sexy misfits prepare for their theatrical presentation; a spectacle akin to a deliciously lethal explosion in an illegal Mexican fireworks factory, secretly hidden below an erotic toy warehouse, tucked inside a horny goat weed depot.
Positive was I that this group of lucha lunatics was held to a “sinister agenda”, yet there was no mention of Mr. Crowley in the event program. None-the-less, I was bracing myself for animal sacrifices and bloodletting rituals. Indeed.
Down the dark-dark path I continue towards the jaws of this VaVoom machine; the apparatus which ticks and cracks and snaps bone, twisting flesh into rebel pretzels. And though I am willingly entering this ghastly scene, the blame for my resulting dismemberment falls on Mr. Federl who will ultimately be responsible for transporting my corpse.
And yet my feet keep moving me forward…
It is precisely when reaching the Green Room that my eyes fall upon a covey of sweet-sweet nymphs who tease and primp and cavort. A pungent concoction of estrogen and testosterone dominates the air, as lip-licked leather and supple flesh pose for a frenzy of photographers and curious onlookers.
Camera in one hand… Crucifix in the other…
I continue down a long black-black hallway, past arresting succubae and virile incubi, which leads to the sanctuary of the dressing rooms and the lair of the sexy groovy mama.
It is here where I finally meet Rita D’Albert, the ring leader of Lucha VaVoom, enjoying a slice of devilishly appetizing pizza. Around her, a swirling display of loveliness and talent, of dreams and dreamers, of conviction and commitment. Rita is a raging classic beauty with a delightful saucy finish.
Citizen LA: “We know about your onstage performances, but little is known about the happenings down here. What’s the secret? Any rituals performed before the show?”
Rita: “Well, we don’t do a prayer. We simply tell dirty jokes, drink Champagne and make fun of each other.”
Citizen LA: “…but what’s really going on here, Rita?”
Rita: “Oh, you mean the Sinister Agenda?”
Citizen LA: “Exactly.”
Rita reaches for slice of magic pizza, takes a bite and winks.
Apparently, the truth will not come easily.
Lying on the floor is a parchment inscribed with glyphs and cryptic messages. A performer glides over this intriguing “green mat” stretching limbs into the most unorthodox of positions. Fellow cast-members coax the performer who skillfully imitates graceful winged creatures and lively four-legged beasts. Though this mysterious ritual suggests invocation, I avoid pressing the issue for fear of reprisal.
How would one, in such a vulnerable position, approach the subject of black magick? I was easily out-numbered and –by the look of the pizza– they would not hesitate to devour me. I pull out my reporter notebook and jot down a thought: I’M GONNA DIE.
I slip through a narrow doorway, quietly exiting this carnal scene, and find myself in the men’s dressing room face-to-face with a Los Angeles folkloric antihero. Here, an exquisite photo of the wrestler known as Dirty Sanchez governs over a trough urinal, reaffirming his dominance over those going pee.
In the distant blackness, a handsome wrestler knows as El Jimador stands in his whitey tighties. Upon noticing my camera he swiftly hides his face, for he is NOT to be unmasked. Not tonight. In an act of rebellious showmanship, he drops to the floor and punishes me by watching him perform one-hundred push-ups. Unforgivable.
Around him stand the rest of the men; none nervous, none complacent. They seek not vanity nor to impress, for they are merely doing their job. These men have committed themselves to a terrifying profession whose actions drive freezing rain back into the clouds, and searing rays soaring back to the sun.
I am keenly aware of the response these performers receive from their loyal fans. These entertainers are undoubtedly purveyors of bliss, and the culturally-rich dangerously-defiant sport of Mexican wrestling known as Lucha Libre.
In the 1860s Lucha Libre was birthed from the ashes of the Mediterranean and the salsa of the South, forming the perfect Mexican union. Years later, the men and women of Lucha VaVoom take their place alongside a lineage that includes legends like El Santo, El Solitario, and Mil Mascaras.
Tonight Lucha VaVoom will fuse guts and glory while thrusting orgasmic muscle upon an unsuspecting audience. This evening’s performance celebrates Cinco de Mayo, a date which honors the battle of Puebla, wherein the Mexican guerrillas defeat the French army and gain back their territory. I hope my kidneys fair just as well with their battle against the aggressive Tequila shots which will undoubtedly be marching my way tonight.
In the men’s dressing room I stand in the shadows, remaining as inconspicuous as possible. Though I have been accepted in this dangerous den of gods and monsters, clowns and kings, my welcome may run out at any moment. My hands tremble as I steal a few more unmasked wrestler shots. Well aware of my presence, the boys huff and snort and brandish their muscles and gnash their teeth. This is a warning.
Fearing for my life…
I slip back into the ladies dressing room where an unending supply on Gaetano d’Aquino Asti spills across lip and lap of dancer, after dancer, after dancer. And here, we once again discover Rita the Magnificent, pizza in hand.
Rita: “What I can tell you about the Sinister Agenda is that everything we do is a result of LA and the Mayan Theater. This experience couldn’t have been created anywhere else.”
She pulls me close…
Rita: “Lucha VaVoom is here to take over the world with fun, hedonism, sex and violence. We are the people reminding the people to be dangerous.”
Just as I am about to comment, Rita reaches into a pizza box, pulls out a slice and shoves it in my mouth. She holds her finger to her lips, and whispers…
Rita: “It’s showtime.”
I was invited to peek inside the metaphorical clock and lay witness to the maniacal gears of Lucha VaVoom. Now, I will forever be tormented by unspeakable mysteries, replaying scenes that make no sense and deciphering questions that have no answer.
A victimless crime, this is not, for my soul has been consumed. And, alas, I will no longer be the same innocent boy.. but damn the pizza was good.